Eventually, it took a lot for the light bulb to go off. I don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe it’s the blonde hair. I was pregnant at the time. Maybe we can blame all these sorts of things. But eventually, I realized that there was one common denominator in all of these team dramas, and it wasn’t them. It wasn’t my friend being a bad project manager. It wasn’t my team member and my client conspiring against me. And it wasn’t a bad contractor just doing a bad – well, it was, actually – but it was still me.
It didn’t matter what I did afterwards. If I hadn’t set it up for success at the very top, all of these things were designed to fail. And I had to realize that I am actually the problem in almost all of my bad, dramatic team scenarios. And if you’re stressed about your team, if they’re keeping you awake at night, if you’ve ever found yourself wondering, what am I paying them for? Why am I paying them so much? Did they actually do anything today? Why aren’t they communicating? There’s nodding going on over there.
You’re probably the problem. And it sucks because it’s a really hard thing to accept. It’s actually a hard realization to come to. Remembering I always put a lot of effort into my leadership, I thought I was a good leader. I made sure that I read leadership books, I listened to podcasts, I looked up to other really good leaders. And it took me a long time to realize that I was the problem.
But what makes me happy and what empowers me to keep going is that if I’m the problem in my team, that means that I’m also the solution. And it means that it doesn’t matter what crazy dramas my team throws at me, I actually have the power to make dramatic change.
And that means that whatever scenario you’ve got going on in your team at the moment, whether you’re just getting started with the team, whether you’ve got a big team that are driving you crazy, whatever problem you have, you have the power to solve it.
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